Friday, September 10, 2010

A New Barefoot Running Buddy

It was back to school this week, and outside the school this morning I saw one of my mom-buddies.  She told me she saw me out barefoot running the other day and she told me that she thought to herself "I want to do that!"

I told her I was going out right now and she decided to ditch her gym routine that morning and come out with me. She had been reading about it and wanting to do it but was a little afraid.  She just took the plunge.

Well, I gave her pointers by telling her everything I knew about barefoot running so far -- which isn't all that much.  She was in good shape and a runner already.  She had been thinking about the barefoot thing a long time, and I had sent her an article on the vibrams way way back when she and I had been talking about plantar fasciitis (she has it too).  So, she had already been doing some of her gym routines barefoot and had tried some barefoot running on the beach while she had been on vacation.

She walked the first quarter mile with me and Daffodil the dog, and then we ran about 1/2 a mile.  I advised her to take her shoes with her just in case.  She was a natural at it and she's in great shape.  Even though she looked fine to me and she felt really good, I advised her to put her shoes on after the first 1/2 mile anyway, because it's part of my nature to be careful when starting out, and she told me she had some athletic activity scheduled for the next day and I didn't want her to be sore for that.

She ran along with me for the next mile in her shoes, but she already was bothered by the heel of her shoe and the arch support.  She seems to be very naturally inclined to this, and very sensitive already to what her body was telling her.  It took me a few weeks to start being bothered by my running shoes.  After a mile she told me she was going to take her shoes off again, and we finished up the last mile barefoot.  She was running pretty fast, and sometimes went up ahead of me and then ran back. She reminded me of those barefoot running angels I had next to me while running the Harlem to Brooklyn barefoot run with Born to Run author Chris McDougall. last month.

Okay, well, she's a natural and she's really fit and she's starting out ahead of where I am.  But that's okay.  I believe in my approach and I believe that where I'm at is right for me and I am growing every day.  I think one important aspect of my own barefoot experience is that it is imperative that I remain true to myself and respect my body where it is at and allow my own progress to unfold at the rate that it needs to naturally.

I lent her two of my books -- one by Jason Robillard about barefoot running (because I had two copies since I just got the new edition of the book that just came out), The Barefoot Running Book: A Practical Guide to the Art and Science of Barefoot and Minimalist Shoe Running, and the other by Daniel Howell about barefooting in general, The Barefoot Book: 50 Great Reasons to Kick Off Your Shoes.

The great news is that she loved it and is now going to join me on my barefoot runs every Friday.  I even told her that I would love to get a barefoot running club going.  She said that now is the time to start thinking about it to get it set up for the warm weather in the spring.  She also said that she knew where there is an indoor track we could use for winter running.

So, it looks like I have a new barefoot running buddy.  I hope I can keep up with her!


Julie said...

How wonderful for you both! I wish I had someone around here to take me out barefooting. Having someone show you, like you are doing, is a gift.

Avocational Singer said...

That's kind of what she said to me, Julie. She said she was scared and just needed someone to go out with to get started.

I wrote about how Michael Sandler gave a free barefoot running workshop in Central Park. It was lucky to get to attend that. I'm not sure I would have tried it on my own if I hadn't gone to that workshop to have someone show me how.

Avocational Singer said...
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Anonymous said...

Very cool! You're influencing people... love it!

Avocational Singer said...

Well, then, Robin, that would also be a lot of your influence trickling down. Would that be like a running grandbaby or something?